An acupuncturist undergoes at least 2-4 years of graduate coursework in the biomedical sciences, oriental medicine, dietary therapy, and acupuncture techniques as well as several hundreds of patient contacts and thousands of clinical hours treating patients. Most states require acupuncturists to have taken the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine boards (NCCAOM) to be licensed with the designation of licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.).
In some states, medical doctors can use acupuncture within their practice after taking a training course. While receiving treatments from these doctors may be beneficial, a few months of intense reading and some hands-on labs do not teach the medical doctors to tailor treatment protocols to the individual the way the Traditional Chinese Medicine is usually practiced. Often, medical doctors use certain points for the treatment of a condition, neglecting to take into account the person’s constitution. Practicing acupuncture in this manner does a disservice to the profession and the consumer. Please be sure to check the education and credentials of your acupuncturist to ensure that you go to a practitioner who has been trained in depth about the art of Chinese Medicine.